Changing Field Types

How to change a field from one type to another

Once a field has been created, the type can’t be changed with the flick of a switch. However there is an easy to follow process to accomplish this.

  1. Rename the field to [fieldname] old
  2. Add a new field [fieldname]. This means that any calculations that reference the field won’t have to be changed and won’t break due to mis-matching field names
  3. Copy all values from one field to another. The easiest way is to use a workflow
  4. Try to delete the old field. If any views reference it, the delete will fail and a list of them will be shown
  5. Edit all those views
    • remove the old field and add the new, to all fields, filters etc.
    • update all calculations that reference the field e.g. add a space to the end of all of them. That will refresh them to reference the new field rather than the old
  6. Finally, delete the old field

Before starting, it will be worth ensuring that data won’t change during the process, for example by making the data read-only to all users, or requesting they don’t edit field values until finished.

Last modified November 27, 2023: Pivot table example (80c844c)